Sunday, December 7, 2008

V for Vendetta

The script for the film is so well written that makes me want to quote on and on. The most famous anti-authoritarian saying is “people should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” Ironically, it’s in huge contrast to what happened in reality. At the end, V sacrifices his personal life, as he believes “beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea… And ideas are bulletproof.” Thus it doesn’t matter whether he would die or not, since his idea has already spread to everyone.

However, no matter how inspiring those sentences sound to be, I still keep my suspicion for such character like V. I would rather think revolution is just a temporary illusion, and I never agree with the means to use violence to anti-violence in the name of revolution. In the introduction of V himself, he explains “the only verdict is vengeance, a vendetta...held as a votive not in vain, for the value and veracity of such...shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.” But is revenge the only thing we could do? Should we sacrifice some people’s lives in order to exchange for “the happiness of majority,” or could we?

Evey actually has her doubts for V. In their conversation, she raises the question.
E-You really think blowing up Parliament's going to make this country a better place?
V-There's no certainty, only opportunity.
Well, there are so many opportunities come and go. Every time the revolution is supposed to liberate all human beings, but at the end, it’s just a switch to another dictatorship. V criticizes the dictator as “he promised you order, he promised you peace and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.” But who knows after the revolution there won’t be another dictator just like that?

At least, that’s the cycle happened in Chinese history over thousands of years, and we still haven’t get out of it. I’d like to quote from someone said in the documentary of “Tiananmen”: “In the past century or so, the Chinese people have shed blood time and again, without losing the courage to fight for their ideals. Each battle, however, has ended in a new tragedy, another shattered dream. I believe that what the Chinese lack are not ideals, but the means through which to realize them; not courage, but the wisdom necessary to achieve their goal. What the Chinese lack is not a heart, but a mind.”

“The strength comes from united, and the united comes from belief.” V usually likes to draw a huge V on this government slogan, so as to show he’s against it. But if think again, V actually practices the same idea as the government, when we see thousands of people march to the government building under V’s masks.

Again back to what happened in 1989, China. During that time, some people shouted, “down with Li Peng.” Such a slogan was exactly what people used in the Cultural Revolution. It is still the same tactic the Party used when they tried to accuse a person. Students tried to oppose the government’s misbehavior, but they ended up just like them, because they were educated by the same ideology from the government.

So the real question is what would happen after the revolution? The explosion could be seen as a carnival, but it doesn’t bring anything. People have to back to their normal life. Then who should bring back the order, and what kind of order? The film ends there, but the real life has to go on.

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